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D&D 5E On rulings, rules, and Twitter, or: How Sage Advice Changed

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Sage Advice. The resource we all love to hate, except when it supports our argument. A lot has been said about it, and Jeremy Crawford’s unofficial rules clarifications on Twitter. How official is it? Does it constitute RAW, or RAI? It came up recently in another thread that, given how literal and dare I say, “rules-lawery” Jeremy Crawford’s rulings tend to be, maybe the common platitude that 5e is meant to be a game of “rulings over rules” is not really true. Or, maybe it is, and JC just doesn’t care about the answer he gives in Sage Advice. And it occurs to me, a lot of folks playing 5e today probably weren’t around for or don’t remember when Sage Advice used to be different.

Here’s a link to the very first post of 5e Sage Advice weekly column on the WotC website. I recommend you read it in its entirety, even if you’ve read it before. It’s quite enlightening about the attitudes and thought processes of the 5e devs early in the edition’s life cycle.


There are some really great chestnuts in there. I especially love how the article starts out by making fun of the original Sage Advice column in Dragon Magazine for giving obtuse answers like “orcs are mammals and therefore do not spawn” in response to questions of how to spawn an orc army. Oh, 2015 Jeremy, you sweet summer child...

Here’s a particular insightful excerpt from the article:
For just over a month now, D&D fans have had all three of the core books for the new edition. We’ve all been putting the game through its paces, and questions are popping up. Almost always your Dungeon Master or fellow players can sort things out, but in those rare cases when your group is stumped, you can turn to us.

Let me repeat for emphasis: Almost always (!!) your DM or fellow players can sort things out. This suggests to me that Crawford expected (perhaps nievely so) that there would be relatively few rules questions that demanded an answer in Sage Advice. He expected groups of 5e players to mostly sort it out for themselves, and only in very rare cases would clarification from the developers be needed.

The article then goes on to explicitly state the purpose of Sage Advice:
In a typical D&D session, a DM makes numerous rules decisions—some barely noticeable and others quite obvious. Players also interpret the rules, and the whole group keeps the game running. There are times, though, when the design intent of a rule isn’t clear or when one rule seems to contradict another.

Dealing with those situations is where Sage Advice comes in. This column doesn’t replace a DM’s adjudication. Just as the rules do, the column is meant to give DMs, as well as players, tools for tuning the game according to their tastes. The column should also reveal some perspectives that help you see parts of the game in a new light and that aid you in fine-tuning your D&D experience.

Once more with feeling: Sage Advice doesn’t replace a DM’s adjudication. It is meant to give DMs and players tools for running the game according to their tastes, and to reveal perspectives that aid in fine-tuning your D&D experience. This suggests to me that Crawford didn’t expect his clarifications to be taken as “official rulings,” but simply to provide insight as to the designers’ thinkinking, to help DMs make their own rulings. I expect he certainly didn’t intend for his rules clarifications to be cited to try and win forum arguments by appealing to his authority.

The article then goes on to discuss three types of rulings: RAW (rules as written), RAI (rules as intended), and RAF (rules as fun). You can imagine, given that the expectation was likely for relatively few rules questions to merit clarification in Sage Advice, how Jeremy might have thought he would be able to go into this kind of detail with all of his answers. And you can imagine as well how much more useful such answers would be than the overly-literalistic “rules lawyer” answers he tends to give on Twitter.

Actually, you don’t have to imagine the latter. Here’s the very next Sage Advice article, the first one in which answers to outstanding rules questions are given.


You don’t need to read the whole thing (though if you do, you can almost see Jeremy Crawford’s patience waning over the course of the article, as each answer gets steadily more brief and RAW-focused than the last.) The most relevant portion is the first answer, the one about elves and Trance:

Does the Trance trait allow an elf to finish a long rest in 4 hours? The intent is no. The Trance trait does let an elf meditate for 4 hours and then feel the way a human does after sleeping for 8 hours, but that isn’t intended to shorten an elf’s long rest. A long rest is a period of relaxation that is at least 8 hours long. It can contain sleep, reading, talking, eating, and other restful activity. Standing watch is even possible during it, but for no more than 2 hours; maintaining heightened vigilance any longer than that isn’t restful. In short, a long rest and sleep aren’t the same thing; you can sleep when you’re not taking a long rest, and you can take a long rest and not sleep.

Here’s what this all means for an elf. An elf can spend 4 hours in a trance during a long rest and then has 4 additional hours of light activity. While an elf’s companions are snoozing, the elf can be awake and engaged in a variety of activities, including carving a lovely trinket, composing a sonnet, reading a tome of ancient lore, attempting to remember something experienced centuries before, and keeping an eye out for danger. The Trance trait is, ultimately, meant to highlight the otherworldly character of elves, not to give them an edge in the game.

That all said, if you’re the DM and you decide to let Trance shorten an elf’s long rest, you’re not going to break the game. You are making a world-building choice if you do so. You’re deciding that elves, on a global scale, are ready to reenter a fight before anyone else, that they heal faster than most humanoids, and that they regain their magical energy faster. Such a choice would make sense in a world where elves are the dominant race, where they not only live longer than others, but also recover faster.

Now, hang on a minute! That’s not what the Sage Advice Compendium says about Trance at all! It says the opposite of what this answer claims was the design intent:
Does the Trance trait allow an elf to finish a long rest in 4 hours? If an elf meditates during a long rest (as described in the Trance trait), the elf finishes the rest after only 4 hours. A meditating elf otherwise follows all the rules for a long rest; only the duration is changed.

So, what gives? Well, the answer was changed, back in 2017, when the rules for taking a long rest got errata’d to clarify that you have to rest for at least 8 hours and sleep for at least 6 of them to gain the benefits of a long rest. So why did the “official” ruling change to be contrary to the originally stated design intent? Well, this discrepancy didn’t go unnoticed at the time.

Now there’s a “orcs are mammals and therefore do not spawn” answer if I’ve ever seen one. “The duration of the rest” indeed.

Now, I may be dooming this thread to devolve into a debate over rules interpretations by saying this, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assert that the revised answer is correct, by RAW, even before the errata to long rests. Trance says that “After resting in this way [for 4 hours], you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.” If a human were to sleep for 8 hours, they would indeed have spent a period of at least 8 hours resting, and sleeping for at least 6 of them, which means they will have completed a long rest. The benefits of a long rest should therefore be included in “the same benefit a human would get from 8 hours of sleep.” By a strict reading of RAW. That being said, I think the original answer was by far the better one, given the originally stated purpose of Sage Advice. Rather than just telling you what the RAW says, the original answer explains what the designers were thinking and why, points out that the game won’t break if you rule against RAI, and explores some of the worldbuilding implications of ruling otherwise in the name of RAF. Although, it would have been nice to also include clarification of RAW in the original answer. I think between the two answers, we have a single complete look at the RAW, RAI, and RAF of Trance (and on that basis I feel comfortable ruling consistently with the originally-stated RAI at my own table, despite it clearly going against RAW.)

But the question remains, why did they change the Sage Advice answer to this question, if the original answer was more useful for the original stated purpose of Sage Advice? To answer this question, we have to engage in a little speculation, but I believe quite confidently that some time between September 2015 and August 2017, Jeremy Crawford’s approach to Sage Advice changed. Granted, the Sage Advice Compendium does contain a significant part of the original Sage Advice article talking about RAW, RAI, and RAF (in the beginning part that everyone skips over to get to the rulings - honestly, how many people even knew that bit was in the Compendium?) but as far as the actual answers go, all of them are pure, literal, rules-lawyering RAW. Sage Advice really isn’t about giving DMs insight as to developer perspective and intent so they can make an informed ruling of their own any more. It’s just about giving the most straightforward, technical interpretation of RAW possible. As for the reason for this change, I suspect the answer is quite simple: it was too much work to do the other way.

Jeremy Crawford gets A LOT of rules questions on Twitter. If he went into the sort of detail the original Trance answer did for every single one of them, he would have no time to do anything else. And that answer didn’t even cover the RAW! Maybe it seemed reasonable when they were expecting the DM to “almost always” have an answer and to only need to write Sage Advice on the occasional rule where the wording was unclear or contradicted another rule. But when the reality is that millions of players refuse to accept a ruling they disagree with unless Jeremy Crawford personally tells them its “official,” that’s just not going to work. So, Jeremy began favoring the “the rules need to stand on their own” interpretation above all others. And I can’t really blame him, though I lament the loss of the incredible resource Sage Advice was created with the intent to be.

So what can we take away from all this? First of all, ignore Sage Advice. All it’s ever going to give you is a legalistic reading that’s unlikely to be of any real use in a practical context. Second, let go of the idea of “official rulings.” 5e was explicitly designed to be interpreted by a DM, who, with feedback from their group, would fill in any gaps in the existing rules. There is no “official” source other than the text itself, which is why all you’ll get from tweeting Jeremy Crawford is a slight rephrasing of the text. And third of all, if someone tries to say Sage Advice or Crawford’s Twitter counts as RAW, point them here. It probably won’t change their minds, but it’ll probably be easier than trying to explain all this to them yourself. And with any luck, it will help spread awareness of the original intent behind Sage Advice and how it no longer fulfills that intent.

One more thing from the original article that I thought was interesting but didn’t really fit anywhere else in my mini-essay was this:

Don’t expect any dramatic rules changes to show up in the forthcoming errata. We’re focusing on straightforward corrections: cutting extraneous words, adding missing ones, and clarifying things that are unclear.

Fifth edition now belongs to the thousands of groups playing it. It would be inappropriate for the design team to use errata as a way to redesign the game. When we come across something that is more of a redesign than a correction, we put it into a queue of things to playtest and possibly publish at a later date. We’ll let you know if a redesign is around the corner!

How’s that for developer intent changing over time? 🤣
 
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For a time Crawford's tweets were considered "official rulings," since he was the rules guru, which was an idiotic nightmare. No one overrules the DM at the table, not even the books themselves. A bad DM should find themselves with few or no players, making such "official" rulings irrelevant. A good DM can use rulings to make them work for a fun experience, regardless of RAW (a concept I've hated since it first appeared).
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Bill Murray Applause GIF by MOODMAN
 

AmerginLiath

Adventurer
While not exactly D&D, I always hold to the GMing advice of Palladium creator Kevin Siembieda (as he said to a friend who played in a game with him at a con): “If I don’t remember the rule, I just roll a die. If I roll high, it succeeds! If I roll low, it fails! If I roll in between — something weird happens!”
 



J-H

Adventurer
I don't trust anything on twitter... nor do I have a convenient way to access it, as I have no twitter account and it doesn't like privacy browsers.

If WOTC wanted it to be treated as official communication, they'd host it on their own website instead of a microblogging platform known for politically slanted toxicity.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I don't trust anything on twitter... nor do I have a convenient way to access it, as I have no twitter account and it doesn't like privacy browsers.

If WOTC wanted it to be treated as official communication, they'd host it on their own website instead of a microblogging platform known for politically slanted toxicity.
To be fair, the Sage Advice Compendium is also a thing, and it is hosted on their official website. My thesis is essentially that neither of these sources should be considered authoritative (except in the context of Adventurer’s League I suppose), and in fact, the whole idea of “official rulings” runs contrary to the intended function of Sage Advice itself.
 

I think SA started out with the exact intent that was stated. Advice to help folks understand the rules and to make rulings. But then of course of our community of rules lawyers wanted something more. And kept hounding for "official" rulings and clarifications. So, through intention or just succumbing to pressure and frustration turned to it's current format.

Still means the same to me. If I have a rules question and Google it and SA article/answer comes up, I take it as I would any other argument; if it is well reasoned and fits what I need it to at the moment, then I consider it. If it doesn't, I throw it out like the trash it is.
 


TheSword

Legend
Sage Advice. The resource we all love to hate, except when it supports our argument. A lot has been said about it, and Jeremy Crawford’s unofficial rules clarifications on Twitter. How official is it? Does it constitute RAW, or RAI? It came up recently in another thread that, given how literal and dare I say, “rules-lawery” Jeremy Crawford’s rulings tend to be, maybe the common platitude that 5e is meant to be a game of “rulings over rules” is not really true. Or, maybe it is, and JC just doesn’t care about the answer he gives in Sage Advice. And it occurs to me, a lot of folks playing 5e today probably weren’t around for or don’t remember when Sage Advice used to be different.

Here’s a link to the very first post of 5e Sage Advice weekly column on the WotC website. I recommend you read it in its entirety, even if you’ve read it before. It’s quite enlightening about the attitudes and thought processes of the 5e devs early in the edition’s life cycle.


There are some really great chestnuts in there. I especially love how the article starts out by making fun of the original Sage Advice column in Dragon Magazine for giving obtuse answers like “orcs are mammals and therefore do not spawn” in response to questions of how to spawn an orc army. Oh, 2015 Jeremy, you sweet summer child...

Here’s a particular insightful excerpt from the article:
For just over a month now, D&D fans have had all three of the core books for the new edition. We’ve all been putting the game through its paces, and questions are popping up. Almost always your Dungeon Master or fellow players can sort things out, but in those rare cases when your group is stumped, you can turn to us.

Let me repeat for emphasis: Almost always (!!) your DM or fellow players can sort things out. This suggests to me that Crawford expected (perhaps nievely so) that there would be relatively few rules questions that demanded an answer in Sage Advice. He expected groups of 5e players to mostly sort it out for themselves, and only in very rare cases would clarification from the developers be needed.

The article then goes on to explicitly state the purpose of Sage Advice:
In a typical D&D session, a DM makes numerous rules decisions—some barely noticeable and others quite obvious. Players also interpret the rules, and the whole group keeps the game running. There are times, though, when the design intent of a rule isn’t clear or when one rule seems to contradict another.

Dealing with those situations is where Sage Advice comes in. This column doesn’t replace a DM’s adjudication. Just as the rules do, the column is meant to give DMs, as well as players, tools for tuning the game according to their tastes. The column should also reveal some perspectives that help you see parts of the game in a new light and that aid you in fine-tuning your D&D experience.

Once more with feeling: Sage Advice doesn’t replace a DM’s adjudication. It is meant to give DMs and players tools for running the game according to their tastes, and to reveal perspectives that aid in fine-tuning your D&D experience. This suggests to me that Crawford didn’t expect his clarifications to be taken as “official rulings,” but simply to provide insight as to the designers’ thinkinking, to help DMs make their own rulings. I expect he certainly didn’t intend for his rules clarifications to be cited to try and win forum arguments by appealing to his authority.

The article then goes on to discuss three types of rulings: RAW (rules as written), RAI (rules as intended), and RAF (rules as fun). You can imagine, given that the expectation was likely for relatively few rules questions to merit clarification in Sage Advice, how Jeremy might have thought he would be able to go into this kind of detail with all of his answers. And you can imagine as well how much more useful such answers would be than the overly-literalistic “rules lawyer” answers he tends to give on Twitter.

Actually, you don’t have to imagine the latter. Here’s the very next Sage Advice article, the first one in which answers to outstanding rules questions are given.


You don’t need to read the whole thing (though if you do, you can almost see Jeremy Crawford’s patience waning over the course of the article, as each answer gets steadily more brief and RAW-focused than the last.) The most relevant portion is the first answer, the one about elves and Trance:

Does the Trance trait allow an elf to finish a long rest in 4 hours? The intent is no. The Trance trait does let an elf meditate for 4 hours and then feel the way a human does after sleeping for 8 hours, but that isn’t intended to shorten an elf’s long rest. A long rest is a period of relaxation that is at least 8 hours long. It can contain sleep, reading, talking, eating, and other restful activity. Standing watch is even possible during it, but for no more than 2 hours; maintaining heightened vigilance any longer than that isn’t restful. In short, a long rest and sleep aren’t the same thing; you can sleep when you’re not taking a long rest, and you can take a long rest and not sleep.

Here’s what this all means for an elf. An elf can spend 4 hours in a trance during a long rest and then has 4 additional hours of light activity. While an elf’s companions are snoozing, the elf can be awake and engaged in a variety of activities, including carving a lovely trinket, composing a sonnet, reading a tome of ancient lore, attempting to remember something experienced centuries before, and keeping an eye out for danger. The Trance trait is, ultimately, meant to highlight the otherworldly character of elves, not to give them an edge in the game.

That all said, if you’re the DM and you decide to let Trance shorten an elf’s long rest, you’re not going to break the game. You are making a world-building choice if you do so. You’re deciding that elves, on a global scale, are ready to reenter a fight before anyone else, that they heal faster than most humanoids, and that they regain their magical energy faster. Such a choice would make sense in a world where elves are the dominant race, where they not only live longer than others, but also recover faster.

Now, hang on a minute! That’s not what the Sage Advice Compendium says about Trance at all! It says the opposite of what this answer claims was the design intent:
Does the Trance trait allow an elf to finish a long rest in 4 hours? If an elf meditates during a long rest (as described in the Trance trait), the elf finishes the rest after only 4 hours. A meditating elf otherwise follows all the rules for a long rest; only the duration is changed.

So, what gives? Well, the answer was changed, back in 2017, when the rules for taking a long rest got errata’d to clarify that you have to rest for at least 8 hours and sleep for at least 6 of them to gain the benefits of a long rest. So why did the “official” ruling change to be contrary to the originally stated design intent? Well, this discrepancy didn’t go unnoticed at the time.

Now there’s a “orcs are mammals and therefore do not spawn” answer if I’ve ever seen one. “The duration of the rest” indeed.

Now, I may be dooming this thread to devolve into a debate over rules interpretations by saying this, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assert that the revised answer is correct, by RAW, even before the errata to long rests. Trance says that “After resting in this way [for 4 hours], you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.” If a human were to sleep for 8 hours, they would indeed have spent a period of at least 8 hours resting, and sleeping for at least 6 of them, which means they will have completed a long rest. The benefits of a long rest should therefore be included in “the same benefit a human would get from 8 hours of sleep.” By a strict reading of RAW. That being said, I think the original answer was by far the better one, given the originally stated purpose of Sage Advice. Rather than just telling you what the RAW says, the original answer explains what the designers were thinking and why, points out that the game won’t break if you rule against RAI, and explores some of the worldbuilding implications of ruling otherwise in the name of RAF. Although, it would have been nice to also include clarification of RAW in the original answer. I think between the two answers, we have a single complete look at the RAW, RAI, and RAF of Trance (and on that basis I feel comfortable ruling consistently with the originally-stated RAI at my own table, despite it clearly going against RAW.)

But the question remains, why did they change the Sage Advice answer to this question, if the original answer was more useful for the original stated purpose of Sage Advice? To answer this question, we have to engage in a little speculation, but I believe quite confidently that some time between September 2015 and August 2017, Jeremy Crawford’s approach to Sage Advice changed. Granted, the Sage Advice Compendium does contain a significant part of the original Sage Advice article talking about RAW, RAI, and RAF (in the beginning part that everyone skips over to get to the rulings - honestly, how many people even knew that bit was in the Compendium?) but as far as the actual answers go, all of them are pure, literal, rules-lawyering RAW. Sage Advice really isn’t about giving DMs insight as to developer perspective and intent so they can make an informed ruling of their own any more. It’s just about giving the most straightforward, technical interpretation of RAW possible. As for the reason for this change, I suspect the answer is quite simple: it was too much work to do the other way.

Jeremy Crawford gets A LOT of rules questions on Twitter. If he went into the sort of detail the original Trance answer did for every single one of them, he would have no time to do anything else. And that answer didn’t even cover the RAW! Maybe it seemed reasonable when they were expecting the DM to “almost always” have an answer and to only need to write Sage Advice on the occasional rule where the wording was unclear or contradicted another rule. But when the reality is that millions of players refuse to accept a ruling they disagree with unless Jeremy Crawford personally tells them its “official,” that’s just not going to work. So, Jeremy began favoring the “the rules need to stand on their own” interpretation above all others. And I can’t really blame him, though I lament the loss of the incredible resource Sage Advice was created with the intent to be.

So what can we take away from all this? First of all, ignore Sage Advice. All it’s ever going to give you is a legalistic reading that’s unlikely to be of any real use in a practical context. Second, let go of the idea of “official rulings.” 5e was explicitly designed to be interpreted by a DM, who, with feedback from their group, would fill in any gaps in the existing rules. There is no “official” source other than the text itself, which is why all you’ll get from tweeting Jeremy Crawford is a slight rephrasing of the text. And third of all, if someone tries to say Sage Advice or Crawford’s Twitter counts as RAW, point them here. It probably won’t change their minds, but it’ll probably be easier than trying to explain all this to them yourself. And with any luck, it will help spread awareness of the original intent behind Sage Advice and how it no longer fulfills that intent.

One more thing from the original article that I thought was interesting but didn’t really fit anywhere else in my mini-essay was this:

Don’t expect any dramatic rules changes to show up in the forthcoming errata. We’re focusing on straightforward corrections: cutting extraneous words, adding missing ones, and clarifying things that are unclear.

Fifth edition now belongs to the thousands of groups playing it. It would be inappropriate for the design team to use errata as a way to redesign the game. When we come across something that is more of a redesign than a correction, we put it into a queue of things to playtest and possibly publish at a later date. We’ll let you know if a redesign is around the corner!

How’s that for developer intent changing over time? 🤣
Yeah, you spent far far far too long thinking about this.

It’s just the developers intent on how the rules work. On the WFRP rat catchers guild. Developers post their intentions and how they envision rules conflicting all the time. It’s a shame Jeremy gets picked apart so much. Some of the Twitter responses are so rude. Though maybe that’s just nature of Twitter.

You do get the fact that Jeremy is a person right, rather than the fountainhead of godhood... he is allowed to change his mind over time. I’m not sure what is momentous about this fact.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
But the question remains, why did they change the Sage Advice answer to this question, if the original answer was more useful for the original stated purpose of Sage Advice? To answer this question, we have to engage in a little speculation, but I believe quite confidently that some time between September 2015 and August 2017, Jeremy Crawford’s approach to Sage Advice changed. Granted, the Sage Advice Compendium does contain a significant part of the original Sage Advice article talking about RAW, RAI, and RAF (in the beginning part that everyone skips over to get to the rulings - honestly, how many people even knew that bit was in the Compendium?) but as far as the actual answers go, all of them are pure, literal, rules-lawyering RAW. Sage Advice really isn’t about giving DMs insight as to developer perspective and intent so they can make an informed ruling of their own any more. It’s just about giving the most straightforward, technical interpretation of RAW possible. As for the reason for this change, I suspect the answer is quite simple: it was too much work to do the other way.

Jeremy Crawford gets A LOT of rules questions on Twitter. If he went into the sort of detail the original Trance answer did for every single one of them, he would have no time to do anything else. And that answer didn’t even cover the RAW! Maybe it seemed reasonable when they were expecting the DM to “almost always” have an answer and to only need to write Sage Advice on the occasional rule where the wording was unclear or contradicted another rule. But when the reality is that millions of players refuse to accept a ruling they disagree with unless Jeremy Crawford personally tells them its “official,” that’s just not going to work. So, Jeremy began favoring the “the rules need to stand on their own” interpretation above all others. And I can’t really blame him, though I lament the loss of the incredible resource Sage Advice was created with the intent to be.
(Emphasis added.) I suspect that the original writers expected that by writing the rules casually they would make the rules easy enough to understand that there would be comparatively fewer rules ambiguities than were created by the more technical language of past editions.

Heck, for all I know they succeeded in comparative terms! Maybe 5e does have fewer rules ambiguities than it would have had if they had tried to write it more precisely. (Then again, even if that's true, there's no way to know if it would have been true because casual writing leads to fewer ambiguities or whether it would have been true because the designers happen to be better at casual writing than technical writing.)

Regardless of whether writing casually was the right choice, however, I think there is strong anecdotal evidence that they did not avoid as many rules ambiguities as they expected to. This is quite possibly due to the fact that despite their attempt to write casually, parts of the rules are instead written extremely technically (e.g. the infamous "melee weapon attack" vs "melee-weapon attack") but which parts are intended to be read casually and which parts are intended to be read technically are not clearly delineated for the reader.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Yeah, you spent far far far too long thinking about this.
Heck off, I’ll spend my time how I like, thanks.
It’s just the developers intent on how the rules work.
I agree that was the intent. That’s literally core to my argument. I think it’s also clear that the Sage Advice answers have not communicated design intent in recent years, but only clarified RAW. I think the change to the Trance ruling is pretty clear evidence of this.
On the WFRP rat catchers guild. Developers post their intentions and how they envision rules conflicting all the time.
Good for whatever the WFRP rat catchers guild is, I guess?
It’s a shame Jeremy gets picked apart so much. Some of the Twitter responses are so rude. Though maybe that’s just nature of Twitter.
Yeah, Twitter is an awful platform.
You do get the fact that Jeremy is a person right, rather than the fountainhead of godhood... he is allowed to change his mind over time. I’m not sure what is momentous about this fact.
Of course he’s a person and of course he’s allowed to change his mind. I never said otherwise.
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Heck off, I’ll spend my time how I like, thanks.

I agree that was the intent. That’s literally core to my argument. I think it’s also clear that the Sage Advice answers have not communicated design intent in recent years, but only clarified RAW. I think the change to the Trance ruling is pretty clear evidence od

Good for whatever the WFRP rat catchers guild is, I guess?

Yeah, Twitter is an awful platform.

Of course he’s a person and of course he’s allowed to change his mind. I never said otherwise.
If they'd have just written a clear and concise rulebook in the first place they wouldn't have needed to do something like Sage Advice to explain what they meant by their poorly worded design.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
If they'd have just written a clear and concise rulebook in the first place they wouldn't have needed to do something like Sage Advice to explain what they meant by their poorly worded design.
I’m not sure I agree. While I do think their inconsistent use of natural language leads to unnecessary ambiguity, I don’t think clearer wording would prevent these kinds of questions. Poor reading comprehension and bad-faith readings are inevitable, and even expertly written technical writing has room for misinterpretation.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I was not remembering this one, what’s make you so laugh about?
Depending on how you read the resting rules, either any combat at all will break a long rest or it takes a full 60 minutes of combat to break a long rest. So as long as you don't fight for more than 59 minutes during an 8 hour rest, you're good.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I’m not sure I agree. While I do think their inconsistent use of natural language leads to unnecessary ambiguity, I don’t think clearer wording would prevent these kinds of questions. Poor reading comprehension and bad-faith readings are inevitable, and even expertly written technical writing has room for misinterpretation.
Sure. Absolutely. But it would cut the ambiguity way, way down and make bad-faith readings of the text stand out a lot more. Now, there's barely a hair's breadth between honest and reasonable misunderstanding and explicitly willful misinterpretation. All because of the natural language approach. It's a reference guide and rule book, it should be written with clarity and precision as the main goals.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I was not remembering this one, what’s make you so laugh about?
Whether any amount of combat disrupts a long rest, or a total of one hour of any sort of strenuous activity (including combat, spellcasting, walking, etc) is required to disrupt a long rest is a hotly debated question, especially given that the rules as written can be interpreted either way. It’s actually exactly the sort of rule Sage Advice seems to have been created to address.

Can you imagine if JC addressed this question in the sort of depth he did with the original Trance answer? Maybe then people would just use the interpretation that makes sense to them, instead of arguing about who’s interpretation is “right”

🤣 Ah, who am I kidding? That would never happen.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Depending on how you read the resting rules, either any combat at all will break a long rest or it takes a full 60 minutes of combat to break a long rest. So as long as you don't fight for more than 59 minutes during an 8 hour rest, you're good.
Well, more specifically, the second interpretation is that it it takes a full 60 minutes total of fighting and any other strenuous activity. So, yes, you could hypothetically fight for 59 minutes under that interpretation, as long as you don’t spend a single minute doing anything else strenuous.
 

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